Bench Racing Ammo: The Second Big FiveThursday, April 14, 2011 | 12:15 PM
The year began with talk of The Big Four—Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart and Chad Reed. The list grew to five with Trey Canard grabbing a few wins of his own, and all five riders still stand a mathematical chance of grabbing this year’s Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Supercross racing just doesn’t get any better, so get your tickets, get to the stadium or park it in front of your TV for SPEED’s live coverage this weekend.
Word broke today that Canard is now out with a broken femur—absolutely terrible news for the rookie, who is at the very least out for the rest of the SX campaign.
Short leads the pack of the second "Big Five."
Photo: Garth Milan
Behind Canard’s fifth place in the standings lies another tier of strong supercross riders, so for this week’s Bench Racing Ammo, we highlight the second big five.
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 185
7. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 165
8. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 143
9. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 141
10. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 114
Currently, Andrew Short holds sixth in the rankings on his Red Bull KTM 350SX-F, with a 20-point advantage over Windham. It has, as always, been a consistent season for Shorty. Besides a mechanical problem that ended his night early in Indianapolis, Short has finished in the top ten at every single round, and has avoided the highlight reel crashes that have plagued so many others this year. His season-best is a fourth at Daytona.
Can Windham catch Short for sixith before seasons end?
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson
GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham is seventh, and his season has been a roller coaster compared to Short. Windham is no stranger to victory lane (or SX Title contention) himself, and when the season began he spoke of making that big four up front a big five (via himself). In Houston, it looked like Windham may just reestablish himself as he jetted out to the lead, but a big crash set off a series of bad races. Windham actually dropped out of the top ten in points at one stretch, but he has righted the ship with 4-8-5-6 scores in the last four races. Of course, Windham is used to wins and podiums (he won the Seattle race last year, for example) and surely he’s not happy to have a season-best finish of just fourth.
The world is waiting for Muscle Milk Toyota JGR’s Davi Millsaps to catch fire again. Remember, Millsaps won a race last season, but we haven’t seen him at the front as often as usual this year. He looked to be finding a groove at mid-season with a fourth in Houston and a fifth in San Diego, but he also had bad nights in Jacksonville and Arlington.
Consistency has hindered Millsaps this year, but he still sits a solid eighth in points.
Photo: Simon Cudby
But he’s still relatively consistent compared to his teammate Justin Brayton, who failed to make the Jacksonville main event, and then crashed out in Dallas, leading him to skip St. Louis with a back injury. Brayton looked like the fastest of this group early in the season with a sixth in Phoenix, a fifth in LA and a fourth at Anaheim II, but his hard riding has led to some crashes, as well.
Finally, Dodge Motorsports Hart and Huntington’s Ivan Tedesco is soldering on with a torn ACL, but he showed some fight with two holeshots and an eighth over the weekend. That keeps him seven points ahead of Nick Wey in the battle for the final top-ten spot.
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Each of the five major manufacturers had its ups and downs during the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross campaign. Page 118.